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Batangas LGU orders closure of Laiya resort after COVID-19 protocols breach

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
Batangas LGU orders closure of Laiya resort after COVID-19 protocols breach
In this December 9, 2020 photo, the local government unit of San Juan, Batangas ordered the closure of Blue Coral Beach Resorts, Inc. due to COVID-19 protocol violation
San Juan, Batangas LGU via PTV

MANILA, Philippines — The local government unit of San Juan, Batangas on Wednesday ordered the closure of a resort in Laiya where partygoers were seen violating the COVID-19 beach protocols.

In Memorandum No. 63 dated December 8 but released on the afternoon of December 9, San Juan Mayor Ildebrando Salud revoked the business permit of Blue Coral Beach Resort in Laiya Aplaya due to the repeated violation of the Interagency Taskforce for the Management of COVID-19’s protocols.

In a video documented by concerned individuals sent to the Department of Tourism, a large group was seen partying without face masks, face shields and are not observing physical distancing protocols at the beach of the said resort.

Under the Memorandum Circular No. 2020-007 or the “Health and Safety Guidelines Governing the Operation of Island and Beach Destinations under the New Normal” signed by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in September, establishments are mandated to implement “no face mask, no entry.”

The same memorandum requires beach marshalls to ensure that protocols such as physical distancing are followed in island tourist destinations alongside the lifeguards deployed during prescribed swimming hours.

The DOT condemned this “another reckless social” gathering and immediately issued a show cause order against the management of the resort.

Asked if charges are filed against the violators, Puyat said the DOT’s mandate only covers the accreditation of establishment.

Calabarzon Regional Director Michael Angara Palispis said appropriate charges will likewise be filed against the management of the erring beach resort.

The DOT lauded the local government leaders of San Juan for taking the necessary action to revoke the business permit of the resort.

The operations of Blue Coral Beach resort were first suspended from September 2 to 17 after another violation of the IATF-EID health protocols.

In light of this, Puyat issued a stern reminder to all accommodation and tourism-establishments in Batangas and other destinations that have reopened, to follow health and safety protocols at all times.

“Erring establishments may face criminal charges as deemed appropriate by the local government unit concerned, and shall likewise be sanctioned by the DOT,” Puyat said in a statement.

“Siguro naman dahil nasampolan na ‘yung Blue Coral Resort, sana hindi na gumaya ‘yung ibang resort lalo na GCQ pa ‘yung Batangas,” she said in a press conference on the same day.

Late November, the DOT also supported the recommendation to close down an establishment which hosted a private Halloween Party where guests also violated the minimum health protocols.

BATANGAS

BERNADETTE ROMULO-PUYAT

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

NEW NORMAL

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

PHILIPPINE TOURISM

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